Where does innovation come from?
Matt Ridley
Kenshoo
2 April 2014
Are we better off?
World economic growth
World Economics
World GDP per capita
http://www.krusekronicle.com/2008/07/index.html
The fall of poverty
The Economist*At 2005 PPP
How long does it take to earn
an hour of reading light?
Tallow candle
1800 – 6 hrs
Kerosene lamp
1880 – 15 mins
Incandesce...
But are we healthier,
happier, safer, better
fed, cleverer, cleaner, kinder, freer
, more peaceful, more equal?
Healthier
http://www.unicef.org/progressforchildren/2007n6/index_41802.htm
Child mortality
Happier
http://www.thegwpf.org/the-observatory/1378-indur-m-goklany-global-death-toll-from-extreme-weather-events-declining.html
S...
http://earlywarn.blogspot.com/2011/04/food-consumption-around-world.html
Better fed
N America
Europe
S America
Asia
Africa...
Cleverer
The Flynn Effect
Cleaner
BBC, ONS
Kinder
Freer
More peaceful
More equal
Hans Rosling https://twitter.com/HansRosling/status/400030634921312256/photo/1
How is this possible?
Hybrid ideas
``No man ever saw a dog
make fair and deliberate
exchange of a bone with
another dog’’
Adam Smith 1776
Comparative advantage
David Ricardo
1817
Adam takes 4 hours to make a spear and
3 hours to make an axe
Oz takes 1 hour to ...
Division of labour in nature
Species working for each other
The earliest evidence of trade
Bouzougar et al. 2007. PNAS 2007 104:9964-9969; Barton et al 2009 doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.
Neanderthal localism
http://www.eva.mpg.de/evolution/staff/hublin/pdf/Hublin_Steele_2006_CurrAnth.pdf
Dzudzuana
cave, Geor...
Where does innovation come
from?
Ray Kurzweil
Descent with
modification
Art Fry, inventor of the
Post-it note at 3M
“Innovation is a
numbers game. You
have to go through
5,000 to 6,000 raw
ideas...
Variation
Convergent evolution
Egyptian
Australian
Competition
• New ideas, often serendipitous
Vinyl
Cassettes
CDs
Digital
1975 1985 1995 2005
Succession and extinction
Replication
Sexual
population
Asexual
population
Cumulative evolution requires sex
Tasmania
Henrich 2004 American Antiquity
Two Tasmanians repairing and making spears
(B.
Duterrau, 1855)
Tierra del Fuego
The ancient cloud
Maori fishing tackle; Kline and Boyd 2010
Human migration routes
Shipping routes
Airline routes
Fibre-optic cable routes
The collective brain
internet traffic : the Opte Project. Licensed under Creative Commons.
Can it go on?
``We cannot absolutely prove that those
are in error who say society has reached
a turning point, that we have seen our
be...
Population growth rate is falling…
http://phe.rockefeller.edu/docs/PDR.SUPP%20Final%20Paper.pdf
More food from less land
We’re using less land to produce
more food
After 50 years the world uses 65% less land
to produce the same amount of food
...
The shale gas bonanza
http://www.climate4you.com/
Global temperatures –
up 0.35C in 35 years
Climate change is slower than
expected
1900
2007
Change
Malaria
won’t
get
worse
P. Gething et al Nature 2010
59
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50563/abstract
“Our work was able to tease-out the CO2 fertilization eff...
World economic growth
World economic growth
World economic growth
Global Real GDP
K^2 London Keynote: Where Does Innovation Come From? - Lord Matt Ridley
K^2 London Keynote: Where Does Innovation Come From? - Lord Matt Ridley
K^2 London Keynote: Where Does Innovation Come From? - Lord Matt Ridley
K^2 London Keynote: Where Does Innovation Come From? - Lord Matt Ridley
K^2 London Keynote: Where Does Innovation Come From? - Lord Matt Ridley
K^2 London Keynote: Where Does Innovation Come From? - Lord Matt Ridley
K^2 London Keynote: Where Does Innovation Come From? - Lord Matt Ridley
K^2 London Keynote: Where Does Innovation Come From? - Lord Matt Ridley
K^2 London Keynote: Where Does Innovation Come From? - Lord Matt Ridley
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K^2 London Keynote, "Where Does Innovation Come From?" from Lord Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, presented on April 2nd, 2014.

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K^2 London Keynote: Where Does Innovation Come From? - Lord Matt Ridley

  1. 1. Where does innovation come from? Matt Ridley Kenshoo 2 April 2014
  2. 2. Are we better off?
  3. 3. World economic growth World Economics
  4. 4. World GDP per capita http://www.krusekronicle.com/2008/07/index.html
  5. 5. The fall of poverty The Economist*At 2005 PPP
  6. 6. How long does it take to earn an hour of reading light? Tallow candle 1800 – 6 hrs Kerosene lamp 1880 – 15 mins Incandescent bulb 1950 – 8 secs CF bulb 1997 – ½ sec Labour cost of 1,200 lumen hours at average US wage Nordhaus 1997: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c6064.pdf
  7. 7. But are we healthier, happier, safer, better fed, cleverer, cleaner, kinder, freer , more peaceful, more equal?
  8. 8. Healthier http://www.unicef.org/progressforchildren/2007n6/index_41802.htm Child mortality
  9. 9. Happier
  10. 10. http://www.thegwpf.org/the-observatory/1378-indur-m-goklany-global-death-toll-from-extreme-weather-events-declining.html Safer Deaths from extreme weather
  11. 11. http://earlywarn.blogspot.com/2011/04/food-consumption-around-world.html Better fed N America Europe S America Asia Africa Kilocalories per head per day
  12. 12. Cleverer The Flynn Effect
  13. 13. Cleaner
  14. 14. BBC, ONS Kinder
  15. 15. Freer
  16. 16. More peaceful
  17. 17. More equal Hans Rosling https://twitter.com/HansRosling/status/400030634921312256/photo/1
  18. 18. How is this possible?
  19. 19. Hybrid ideas
  20. 20. ``No man ever saw a dog make fair and deliberate exchange of a bone with another dog’’ Adam Smith 1776
  21. 21. Comparative advantage David Ricardo 1817 Adam takes 4 hours to make a spear and 3 hours to make an axe Oz takes 1 hour to make a spear and 2 hours to make an axe If Oz makes 2 spears And Adam makes 2 axes And they trade… Then they each save an hour of work
  22. 22. Division of labour in nature
  23. 23. Species working for each other
  24. 24. The earliest evidence of trade Bouzougar et al. 2007. PNAS 2007 104:9964-9969; Barton et al 2009 doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.
  25. 25. Neanderthal localism http://www.eva.mpg.de/evolution/staff/hublin/pdf/Hublin_Steele_2006_CurrAnth.pdf Dzudzuana cave, Georgia
  26. 26. Where does innovation come from?
  27. 27. Ray Kurzweil
  28. 28. Descent with modification
  29. 29. Art Fry, inventor of the Post-it note at 3M “Innovation is a numbers game. You have to go through 5,000 to 6,000 raw ideas to find one successful business.” Trial and error
  30. 30. Variation
  31. 31. Convergent evolution Egyptian Australian
  32. 32. Competition
  33. 33. • New ideas, often serendipitous Vinyl Cassettes CDs Digital 1975 1985 1995 2005 Succession and extinction
  34. 34. Replication
  35. 35. Sexual population Asexual population Cumulative evolution requires sex
  36. 36. Tasmania Henrich 2004 American Antiquity Two Tasmanians repairing and making spears
(B. Duterrau, 1855)
  37. 37. Tierra del Fuego
  38. 38. The ancient cloud Maori fishing tackle; Kline and Boyd 2010
  39. 39. Human migration routes
  40. 40. Shipping routes
  41. 41. Airline routes
  42. 42. Fibre-optic cable routes
  43. 43. The collective brain internet traffic : the Opte Project. Licensed under Creative Commons.
  44. 44. Can it go on?
  45. 45. ``We cannot absolutely prove that those are in error who say society has reached a turning point, that we have seen our best days, but so said all who came before us and with just as much apparent reason...On what principle is it that with nothing but improvement behind us we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?’’ Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1830
  46. 46. Population growth rate is falling…
  47. 47. http://phe.rockefeller.edu/docs/PDR.SUPP%20Final%20Paper.pdf More food from less land
  48. 48. We’re using less land to produce more food After 50 years the world uses 65% less land to produce the same amount of food “Peak Farmland and the Prospect for Land Sparing” Jesse H. Ausubel, Iddo K. WernIck, Paul E. Waggoner
  49. 49. The shale gas bonanza
  50. 50. http://www.climate4you.com/ Global temperatures – up 0.35C in 35 years
  51. 51. Climate change is slower than expected
  52. 52. 1900 2007 Change Malaria won’t get worse P. Gething et al Nature 2010
  53. 53. 59 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50563/abstract “Our work was able to tease-out the CO2 fertilization effect by using mathematical modeling together with satellite data adjusted to take out the observed effects of other influences such as precipitation, air temperature, the amount of light, and land-use changes.” R. Donohue, 2013 Change in greenery, 1981-2011
  54. 54. World economic growth
  55. 55. World economic growth
  56. 56. World economic growth Global Real GDP

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